Top gig for Thunder star Lachlan Brne

Lachlan Brne is the first East Sunbury Thunder player to be selected to play at a state championships. Picture Shawn Smits

Lachlan Brne made history when he was named in the Central Highlands side for the under-18 state cricket championships early next year.

By being named in the side, Brne became the first East Sunbury player to be selected to play for the Highlanders in a state-level competition.

Brne said it was an honour to be the first Thunder player to get to this level. Thunder has fielded cricket teams since 2009.

“It’s a great opportunity I’ve been given,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to being the first player for East Sunbury. It means a lot and something I’ll hold with me for a really long time.”

This was the second year the 17-year-old has tried out for the team. He said the experience of being part of the program as a bottom age player has helped him this time round.

“I made it through to the final stage before being cut,” he said of last year. “I didn’t even think I’d make the squad of 27. For me to even get that far was an achievement.

“This year I’ve worked really hard on bowling and batting as well. I got to see how the top age players went about it last time, so I’ve tried to mimic that a little bit.”

The medium pace bowler said he is looking forward to spending a week playing cricket against players his own age in the championships. The Highlanders were runners-up at this year’s event.

“It’s pretty cool they got that far last year,” he said.

“There’s premier cricketers in the side. There’s a lot of them, so I’m going to try and learn from players of their calibre. They’ve got a lot more experience than I do.

“It’s another step to play against players with more experience.”

At the local level, Brne has stepped up to play in the Thunder’s Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s B-grade side.

He had previously played one first XI match for the club.

“I’ve always been able to bat and bowl against people my own age – this is the next step playing against people older than me,” he said.

“It’s helped me to pitch in the right areas and helped my development a lot.

“I’ve been a bit expensive for my liking, but it’s all about learning each week.”

The selection news didn’t end there for the Thunder, with Brandon Nicholls selected as the first Thunder player to represent the Gisborne and District Cricket Association at senior level.

He was selected to play in the KenMac Shield match against Maryborough.

But the match was cancelled due to Maryborough not being able to field a team.